Super Baseball 2020 (２０２０年スーパーベースボール?) is a futuristic baseball video game. It was first released in Japan for the Neo Geo in 1991, and then it was later released in North America for the Mega Drive/Genesis (ported by NuFX and released by Electronic Arts) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (released by Tradewest) in 1993.
The game follows the basic rules of baseball, but there are several upgrades since the game takes place in the year 2020. The most obvious difference from real baseball is that some of the characters in this game are robots. All the human characters are equipped with powerful armor, computer sensors, and jet-packs for improved offense and defensive skills.
Apart from the futuristic characters, the field has also been revamped and redesigned for the future. There is only one stadium in this game, known as Cyber Egg Stadium. A ball hit over the outfield fence is no longer a home run unless it is hit directly over the fence in center field. The other areas of the outfield stands are covered with a protective glass that will cause the ball to bounce off of it and bounce back in play onto the field. The ball hitting this zone always comes back into the field but gives the batter enough time to take a base or two. However, slower runners can sometimes be thrown out at first base even if the ball is hit over the outfield fence.
The reason the home run zone was reduced is because the hitters are far more powerful and have the ability to blast the ball tremendously far. Only the most powerful hitters can have the accuracy and strength to hit the ball far enough to get a home run. The foul zone has also been reduced. It is now shorter and only encompasses the area directly behind first base through third base. Weaker batters can often get a hit by swinging early or late at the ball, causing it to just barely make the fair zone in what would otherwise be the foul zone in normal baseball.
Other features are also present on the field. A stop zone is present just past the field behind first and third base. If the ball touches this rectangular spot, it will stop dead. However, the stop zone is small, and the ball can often bounce right over it without stopping. It can present a problem for slower runners who were hoping the ball would bounce all the way to the fence. Near the fence there are jump zones, in which a player gets an extra boost in jump height to catch a ball that is otherwise going to go over the fence. In the Super Nintendo version, the jump zone is only located in front of the home run zone to try to stop a ball that is going to be a home run. In other versions, the jump zones are placed all throughout the stadium's fences. In addition, every few innings, "crackers" are put on the field. Crackers are landmines that when are stepped on, sends the player sky high and leaves him shaking on the field for a few seconds, delaying the player's time to make a play. (Crackers do not appear in the Super Nintendo version of the game.)
Different from real baseball and other baseball video games, this game consists of both male and female characters, as well as robots. All three types of players have the same basic abilities and vary only on their personal strengths. In many cases, human players are better than their robot counterparts. One major difference between the human and robot characters is that the robot characters can blow up (or lose all their power) if they are worked too hard during a game. That can happen if you constantly make them dive for a ball, run extra bases, or even if they get hit by a pitch. Under no stress whatsoever, some robots, especially pitchers, will naturally run out of power as the game progresses. When this happens, they will lose all their abilities and be useless, both offensively and defensively. When that occurs, you can either power them up or replace them with another person on the roster. Human players do not blow up, but human pitchers can tire out. When they are tired, they will pant heavily and throw the ball very slowly. This can be remedied by either an upgrade or, as in real baseball, switching to a relief pitcher.